Military asset procurement needs end-user nod

Ikmal Hisham: The ministry has stipulated that all new applications for the procurement of new assets and equipment must be agreed by the end users. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: All new applications to procure military assets and equipment will now require the consensus of its end users, says Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz.

The Deputy Defence Minister told Parliament that the ministry would continue to update its standard operating procedure from time to time to avoid any form of mismanagement in the future.

“The ministry has stipulated that all new applications for the procurement of new assets and equipment must be agreed by the end users,” he said in reply to a question from Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas), who had asked the government to state the procedures when awarding a contract, following the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) scandal.

“This includes the army, navy and air force. Only (after obtaining their agreement) can the procurement process be implemented and forwarded to the relevant government agencies, like the Finance Ministry and Economic Planning Unit, for approval,” said Ikmal Hisham

“The ministry is also currently planning to set up a defence investment committee as part of several recommendations included in the Defence White Paper.

“God willing, this committee will function as a body that will determine policy matters and make decisions related to asset procurement.”

Separately, Ikmal Hisham revealed that Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein would be addressing Dewan Rakyat in the coming weeks on issues related to the LCS project.

“I believe his explanation later will allay our concerns. I hope when he provides his explanation, we will be clearer on the matter,” he said.

Asked to explain the status of expenditure of RM6bil in public funds on the LCS project, Ikmal Hisham said the ministry implements the payment based on what was stated in the contract.

“In short, the progress payment is not linked to the percentage of work, but based on the activities and the contract for all ships,” he said.

“The contract is also based on both the ringgit and euro.

“The ships are also built simultaneously, and to allow it to be completed within a period of 10 months between the first ship and the next.

“Payments are still required as the work has been started as well as to purchase the necessary equipment,” he said.

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